Writing, Motherhood, and Self-Expectations

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Twins

**Have you checked out the free preview of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing yet? If you’re still not convinced, head over to this review of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing by Patricia Woodside.

About two weeks ago, I mentioned our twins would soon be born.

I’m so pleased to announce the arrival of our third son and our first daughter, who weighed in at about 5.5 pounds each. They are healthy, happy, and finally home from the hospital after a weeks’ stay.

I’m feeling well despite the busy days and sleepless nights of feedings and diaper changes. Still, even though I have plenty of help around me (my mom is visiting for a couple of months and my husband is working from home), I must admit I have little time at the moment for anything outside of caring for the twins and two older boys.

But that’s okay. It just means I need to re-evaluate my self-expectations for a while.

The need to adjust your expectations can sometimes feel oppressive, especially if you have no control over your circumstances. But, it can also feel empowering if you choose to make adjustments for your own good or the good of others.

In my case, re-evaluating self-expectations is not only good for me, it’s good for my family. I can’t argue with that.

My writing regime will be minimal for the next couple of months, but I’ve planned well in advance for this. Here’s what I’ll be up to while the twins are getting settled:

    • I have a short story under consideration with a magazine, but the editor has asked me to make a few changes before committing. That exercise will probably be the extend of my fiction writing this month. If I’m unsuccessful this time, I’ll be putting the story through another round of submissions.
    • I will be editing and scheduling posts for guest writers and regular contributors, keeping an eye on the blog, and putting together my monthly newsletter, The Resource Wrap-Up. Aside from this post, I have several articles already queued up over the coming months, so I won’t have to write fresh ones each time.
    • I have a few guest posts forthcoming on other blogs (dates to be announced), where I will be responding to comments and questions.
    • I will continue to work on works-in-progress as time allows, which may increase as the twins settle into a routine. While I won’t start anything new, I have several stories on the go which I can add to at any time when I get a break.

As you can see, I’ve set small, achievable writing goals, but my main goal at the moment is to spend quality time with my four beautiful children. I’m enjoying every minute.

Under what circumstances have you needed to adjust your self-expectations when it comes to writing?

 

{ 31 comments }

Ashley Prince March 20, 2012 at 2:44 am

Oh my goodness! Are those your children?! They are beautiful. :)

I really like this post today. I have not had the same experiences of raising children and such, but with increased hours at work or more classes, I usually have to adjust my writing habits.

Congratulation on your twins. :)
Read Ashley Prince´s last article ..A Real Army Wife of San Antonio

Tracy Hahn-Burkett March 20, 2012 at 3:23 am

I can’t believe you even found the time to write this post! Seriously, I am impressed. Congratulations on the birth of the twins and on your beautiful family!
Read Tracy Hahn-Burkett´s last article ..The Adoption Tax Credit: What You Need to Know

Dianna Zaragoza March 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

Impressive…my own writing has stagnated recently because I haven’t been setting small goals. For some reason, I’ve only been staring at the beautiful horizon, but not taking the first steps to get there.
Thanks for your post. If you can do it, so can I. (and ps: your babies are very cute. Thanks for the pictures as well.)

PatriciaW March 20, 2012 at 5:16 am

Congratulations! They are beautiful. Super congratulations on continuing to make progress with your writing. Adjustments are required, and you’re making them. Kudos!
Read PatriciaW´s last article ..Reader/Writer Tidbits — March 17, 2012

Sarah Baughman March 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

Suzannah, I am so inspired even by your “toned down” expectations for yourself. Congratulations on your beautiful twins, and all the best as you navigate the next few months. Somehow I think you’re going to be just fine.
Read Sarah Baughman´s last article ..Spring Somewhere Else

Debra Eve | Later Bloomer March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I’m with Tracy. How did you even find time to write this? Congratulations, they’re gorgeous! I’ll be the first to agree — your writing will always be there for you, but your little ones will only be little once.
Read Debra Eve | Later Bloomer´s last article ..Don Mittelstaedt Makes His Movie — At 92!

Suzannah Windsor Freeman March 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thanks to everyone for your comments and best wishes :)

How did I find the time to write this post? I snuck in half an hour while the big boys were in bed and the twins were napping between feeds. They’re pretty quiet babies at the moment, but that might be because they came three weeks early. A month from now, they may be screaming up a storm!
Read Suzannah Windsor Freeman´s last article ..Writing, Motherhood, and Self-Expectations

Jeroen Minnee March 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Congratulations! You are an even busier mom now and still writing! You have my respect as a busy dad.

Woelf March 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Congratulations! They’re beautiful. I’ve a 4 yr old girl and a boy of 5 months. My kids are growing up so fast and it sometimes feels like time is in a hurry. I hate it. So enjoy this time with your babies, its precious.

As a side note, I am also learning how to write in a house full of baby noise and time constraints. Its difficult, but doable. My main problem is that I’m brand new at putting an actual effort into writing, so my writing muscles, fiction wise, are a bit untrained. Its rather painful to watch…and read at this stage. lol
Read Woelf´s last article .."Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt…"

Lisa March 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

This is an inspiring read for aspiring novelists (of which I am one!), who have hectic lives outside of writing: day jobs, family commitments, the list goes on. I was recently able to finish the first draft of my first novel in the middle of an international move. It was tricky (thank God for my netbook), and I went slower than expected, but when writing is its own reward–totally worth it. Now, if only I could manage to find time to revise and sell…though you and your babies are serious encouragement! Can we have it all? You are certainly proof positive, thanks!
Read Lisa´s last article ..From California to England

Jay Gordon March 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

What precious gifts to the world!
Read Jay Gordon´s last article ..Cowboy poetry in Willits, Mendocino County

Jeannie March 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Congratulations on the babies! They are precious!! Your plan sounds do-able and realistic. More power to you for what you can get accomplished on too little sleep and not enough time for even yourself at the moment :) Wonderful post–enjoy this precious time–it’s gone all too fast. Hugs!
Read Jeannie´s last article ..Monday Church

Cindy Brown March 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Awww, congratulations and great pics too! Good for you for finding time to update everyone (the babies must be sleeping and you must be zombie-typing). My dog is having puppies today. I know it’s not the same thing as babies, but it’s as close as I’m going to get to childbirth at this point. I plan to try to accomplish some writing goals today despite checking frequently on mama and pups.
Read Cindy Brown´s last article ..The Fog (Could Have Killed Me)

Jan Morrill March 21, 2012 at 12:02 am

Your babies are beautiful. What a blessing. Congratulations! You’re an inspiration, because if YOU can keep up your writing, so should I!
Read Jan Morrill´s last article ..Telling Tuesdays 3/20/12 : "It was raining."

Michelle McCartney March 21, 2012 at 12:24 am

CONGRATULATIONS. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. DELIGHTED TOO YOU GOT YOUR WEE GIRL. AND THAT YOU HAVE SO MUCH SUPPORT.HEALTH TO ENJOY.

ALL THE BEST. MICHELLE.

karen March 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

I think we all have to agree with Tracy! Wow! Take a break and enjoy those beautiful twins and get some rest! It makes me think of something someone wrote years ago on having a new baby…
If you see food eat it
If you see a bathroom use it
and if you see a bed sleep in it!
Congratulations! They are beautiful!
Read karen´s last article ..Should vs. Supposed to vs. Need!

Lauren @ Pure Text March 21, 2012 at 1:04 am

You’re going to be doing more writing as a new mother than I usually do. Gah. Inspiration for me to get on my game.

Oh and…congratulations! :D

Cathryn Leigh March 21, 2012 at 1:13 am

Cute pictures! You done, did good, and are you now done? *giggles*

Yes, I’ve discovered I may have bitten off more than I can chew and in my excitment of having two young friends on the verge of their novel debue I’ve been pushing myself too hard. So with work and kids I’ve recently decided I need to step back and do some more craft learning. :}

Hope your babies stay happy and healthy and your two older boys are as helpful as two boys can be.

:} Cathryn / Elorithryn
Read Cathryn Leigh´s last article ..Strong Inspirations

florence fois March 21, 2012 at 1:25 am

Suzannah, your twins are adorable and much joy during these wonderful “baby” times. With four children and your busy schedule, you must be a very focused person. I admire your determination to continue setting goals and also knowing how to put family first. I did not write during motherhood and waited until I was retired from my career … so at this point there isn’t much that puts my writing on the back burner. It has already spent decades on the back burner and it’s soup already :) I wish you the best with the new babies … two bundles of love … and the very best with the rest of the family. This continues to be one of my fav blogs and you are what makes it so special :) Enjoy !!
Read florence fois´s last article ..The Writer’s Life … A Celebration of Books

Irene O. March 21, 2012 at 5:17 am

Suzannah, I rejoice with you on the safe arrival of your precious gifts. They are so beautiful!!! CONGRATULATIONS! I have been on the lookout for this message. Glad you are all doing great.
As an aspiring writer, I am inspired by the goals you have set for this period. I do not have young children to distract me from writing but I had to re-evaluate the use of my time and re-structure my schedule to give more time to writing and minimise distractions. You are an inspiration to me.
Read Irene O.´s last article ..Be Not Discouraged

Amy March 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

Suzannah,

So glad your sweet ones are here safe and sound! This post seems especially apropos to me this week as I’ve been contemplating the idea of the ‘catch-up’ day. We had company all weekend and headed into the week with a collective sleep debt of about 30 hours. My first thought was, Let’s get moving! Chop, chop, heave to, and so on and so forth. But my second thought (fortunately) was, Am I crazy? Therefore, we all slept until ten on Monday morning and took it easy all day. I feel slowing down is often the best course…and enables a speeding up if and when the time is right.

All that to say, you’re wise, wise! Love on those babies…
Read Amy´s last article ..Good Grief

I'm in love... With your babies March 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

Well done to you and your family!! And I take my hat off to you. I’ve just been helping my son and his wife with his newborn and 2-yr-old and can’t find a minute to do anything! You’re inspirational. Thank you.

Susan @ 2KoP March 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Suzannah, they are so, so beautiful. Congratulations again. I admire your ability to plan ahead and I think your “scaled down” goals sound pretty ambitious. There was no planning ahead for my twins, who arrived 16 weeks early. It was a different time and a different experience, but one also filled with joy. To answer your question, my writing expectations for myself are in a constant state of flux. I think setting goals is wonderful, admirable and probably essential, but it’s equally important to learn to go with the flow. I have found “flexible” goals work best with parenting the four (plus two) children in my life. Good luck and good wishes for everything in your life.
Read Susan @ 2KoP´s last article ..We Didn’t Start the Fire

Laurel Lamperd March 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Congratulations to you and your husband on your wonderful twins, Suzanne. I wonder how you have time to think let alone write. But I guess you always find the time to do the things you love. You have a lovely family.

Anna March 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Congratulation!!! They are so beautiful.

Tina Barbour March 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Such beautiful babies–Congratulations! Blessings to you all!

I am impressed by how you planned ahead for this time and still plan to reach writing goals. You’ve inspired me!
Read Tina Barbour´s last article ..Learning: Nature does comfort

Tyrone Robinson March 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Wishing you the best in motherhood. You now have double joy!
Hope your heart can stand it! Your twins are a very special gift and blessihg.You will now have to give twice as much love, and at the same time, it will make your capacity to love, twice as strong!

Tyrone

Ileandra Young March 23, 2012 at 7:04 am

Yey! Beautiful, beautiful babies!
This post of yours has given me the nudge to start doing my own planning. We’re similar in that I have twins on the way too (due in May).
I was having a major freak out trying to decide how much I should do, when I should do it, how I’d fit it all in and what on earth was going to happy to me. This is my first pregnancy so I really feel hurled into the deep end. But reading this and knowing that it IS possible gives me comfort and calms me down.

Thank you for posting and very many congratulations! ^_^
Read Ileandra Young´s last article ..80 Post Challenge – Post 55

Suzannah Windsor Freeman March 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hi again, everyone. It’s 8:30 am, the twins are having a nap (after a long night of wakefulness), and the two big boys are out. Trying to sneak in some breakfast and check my emails while I can! Thanks again for all of your congratulations and best wishes. This is such an exciting time, and it’s great to know I have all your support behind me. Have a great day :)
Read Suzannah Windsor Freeman´s last article ..How to Read Your Way to Better Writing

Janet March 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

Congratulations and blessings to everyone! You amaze and inspire me :) I miss the sweet bay months but am glad all mine are in school now and I can seriously dedicate more time to writing. Really looking forward to the release of your book!
Congrats again, they are beautiful :)
Read Janet´s last article ..April’s Showers

Sandra Madeira March 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hi Suzannah
Congratulations
I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Here’s the link http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-1C2. Enjoy…
Sandra

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